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DIY. 22 DIY tips for the handyman in all of us
- When you are working near baths or sinks there are a couple of precautions that you can take that could save you damaging the sink or tub or loosing small items. Cover the bath or sink with an old sheet in case you drop something that might chip the surface. Also put in the plug so that small screws or nails donít drop down the waste pipe.
- Repair a cracked sink temporarily by sticking strips of linen tape or heavy duty waterproofing tape to the outside then cover with two coats of gloss paint.
- When using a wheel glass-cutter, dip in paraffin between cuts.
- When filling cracks in cement, use a small plastic bag with the corner cut out and pipe in the cement for a smoother finish.
- Avoid lumps when mixing plaster by adding plaster to water not water to plaster. Slow up hardening by adding
a little vinegar.
- When putting adhesive covering on a worktable, wrap a piece of cloth around a rolling pin and use it to smooth out the bubbles.
- Before laying cork, plastic or linoleum tiles, warm them gently in a very cool oven. Tiles are brittle when cold and break easily or split when being cut to fit.
- When laying linoleum or vinyl, use Plasticine to take an impression of any awkward part around door frames. Draw round this pattern on the linoleum for a perfect fit.Sprinkle talcum powder on the Plasticine and it wonít stick to the wood.
- After laying linoleum, leave it loose for a few weeks to allow for stretching. Vinyl however, may shrink, so allow an overlap.
- When the edge of newly-laid linoleum or vinyl is raised up, place a filled rubber hot water bottle on it. The warmth softens the covering enough to make it lie flat.
- To lift a damaged vinyl tile, lay aluminum foil over it and apply a hot iron; the tile will soften and be easier to pull up.
- Puff a little powdered graphite into a jammed or stiff lock. Keep all locks running smoothly by using graphite every six months. Avoid using oil, which tends to gum up the works of a lock.
- Before inserting a large nail in wood that may split, first make a starting hole with a small nail then extract it. Dip the large nail in paraffin or rub with soap and it will go in smoothly.
- To put a screw in an awkward place, stick a small piece of Blu-Tack on the screw head. The screwdriver will a
stick to it and make the task easier.
- Before fixing screws into wood, rub them with a little petroleum jelly to make them easier to remove later if necessary.
- Tip the head of a painted-over screw with a red hot poker. This removes the paint and expands the metal. When it cools, it will come out easily.
- Loosen tight screws in wood by dripping a little vinegar on their heads. When the vinegar penetrates the threaded sections, they will be easier to unscrew.
- To remove a tight wall plug, put a fairly tight screw in about halfway, then pull screw and plug out with pliers.
- A saw cuts more smoothly if the cutting edge is rubbed with soap.
- When drilling hard metal, instead of oil add a drop of turpentine to the drill point for lubrication.
- To stop a drill sliding over and scratching ceramic tiles, stick a piece of plaster tape on the tile and drill through it. Try this when knocking a nail into plaster too, for less chipping.
- Keep a few mothballs in the toolbox. They help absorb damp and prevent metal from rusting. A magnet is also useful to keep small screws together.